Sitting in a metabolic chamber in Coventry having everything from my intake of food and air to my activity, blood and urine monitored gives me plenty of time to take a look back at this year’s running, and have a glimpse at what next year might hold.

Last year finished with a 100 miler (Autumn 100, 18hrs43) , the same race which I returned to just this weekend but supporting this year. Being in and around the race made me really miss trail running, and want to get back out there.

After that was a sharp change to preparing for the final selection stage for SPEAR17, the Antarctica expedition. 2 weeks in Norway  later and a fair amount of pulk-hauling under my belt, I came back to a series of small events on the weekends to keep me running whilst tackling the last few months of med school:

  • Portland Coastal Marathon – 07/02/16 – 1st 03:43
    • this way GREAT fun! Two weeks after I’d got back from Norway, and my first week back training, there was clearly some benefit from all the pulk hauling. Set off at a steady pace and just got faster over the hilly course all day gaining places. Good memory.
  • LDWA New Forest Marathon – 28/02/16 – 1st
    • nice low-key local event, navigating your own way round. I’d done a 26k fartlek session the day before, so legs were quite stiff starting out, but ran out ahead for the whole route.
  • Phoenix Spring Marathon – 05/03/16 – 3rd 02:59
    • another chilled event with an out-and back course (about 8 times…) along the Thames Path
  • Sussex Coastal Trail Series (Ultra 55k) – 19/03/16 – 3rd 04:56
    • hard day out. Very hilly but enjoyable course, but I just felt quite tired for the whole race.
  • XNRG Pony Express 48k Sat, 48k Sun – 30/04 – 01/05/16 – 4th 08:04
    • I live down by the New Forest and love the place. I’d gone out in the weeks leading up to this and had a good run round the course. I was pretty excited for this race, then started a solid bout of man flu in the days before. I was taking on a bit too much with finals looming, but had this as my last weekend of running before doing nothing but studying, so it was fun nonetheless.

After finals I went off for a month of relaxing and running in the mountains, getting in some well overdue time in the hills, a peaceful way of life.

Chamonix running

I came straight back from the Alps to race in the Lake District at the last race of the season. Racing in the mountains isn’t usually my forte, but I was excited heading into it after a few weeks of hills.

  • Ultimate Trails Lake District 110k – 02/07/16 – 5th 13:36

Ollie Stoten 110km lake district

I was very pleased with that race, I finally felt like I could run again.

I figured 4 months was going to be just enough time to prepare specifically for the Traverse attempt, so I stopped running/racing after that race and switched to more strength training and putting on weight.

I’m now in no shape for running far and fast, but good shape for the expedition.

Next stop, Antarctica.

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